We are currently building Miata challenge cars at a remote location in Kyle. The racetrack is an excellent way to test your driving abilities. For an exciting hobby or for the serious racer check out the fun we are building at H2R
We Offer State Vehicle Inspections at Our Round Rock and Georgetown Locations
You are required to have a state inspection performed on your vehicle if you are planning on registering it in the state of Texas. We can perform this state inspection and provide you with the needed paper work to register your vehicle. You will need to show proof of insurance at the time of the inspection. If your vehicle has a Check Engine Light on your vehicle will fail inspection and will need to be diagnosed by the technician and additional diagnosis fees will apply. Your service consultant will advise you if this is the case.
The most common misconception we hear about regarding Check Engine Lights (or Service Engine Soon lights) is that you must pull the car over right away and stop driving. This is not entirely true. The check engine light is an emissions-related light that indicates a potential problem with your car.
The ECU (vehicle’s computer system) stores over 200 different codes that could set off that light. The proper way of diagnosing the light is to hook the vehicle up to a diagnostic scanner such as what we use here, a Snap-On Modis. This scanner communicates with your vehicle’s ECU and retrieves that particular code(s). That code is just the beginning of a diagnostic flowchart which we must follow to test certain parameters of a part or sensor. You can still drive the car, but get it checked out soon! Texas Law now automatically fails your annual inspection if this light is on!
You are required to have a emission inspection performed on your vehicle if you are planning on registering it in the state of Texas. We can perform this state inspection and provide you with the needed paper work to register your vehicle. You will need to show proof of insurance at the time of the inspection. If your vehicle has a Check Engine Light on your vehicle will fail inspection and will need to be diagnosed by the technician and additional diagnosis fees will apply. Your service consultant will advise you if this is the case. The most common misconception we hear about regarding Check Engine Lights (or Service Engine Soon lights) is that you must pull the car over right away and stop driving.
This is not entirely true. The check engine light is an emissions-related light that indicates a potential problem with your car. The ECU (vehicle’s computer system) stores over 200 different codes that could set off that light. The proper way of diagnosing the light is to hook the vehicle up to a diagnostic scanner such as what we use here, a Snap-On Modis. This scanner communicates with your vehicle’s ECU and retrieves that particular code(s). That code is just the beginning of a diagnostic flowchart which we must follow to test certain parameters of a part or sensor. You can still drive the car, but get it checked out soon. Texas Law now automatically fails your annual inspection if this light is on.
We can take a look under the hood
If you are looking to purchase a used car and would like to know what condition the vehicle is in before you invest your money in it. We offer a bumper to bumper inspection. The technician will spend an hour assessing the condition of the vehicle. We will give you written estimate on any repairs or services the vehicle will need and prioritize the repairs for you. This will help you decide if this is the right vehicle for you.
The technical requirements for the HPDE are just common sense checks to make sure your vehicle is in good, safe working order. It is important for you to check out your car before trying to get it inspected. You and the shop only want to do it once per event. Here I will go over the different categories of the technical form with some short explanations.
WHEELS & TIRES
The wheels should be round without any dents or damage to the mounting surface. The tires should be in good condition. The tread should be above the wear bars. No cords or belts should show. Flat tires repaired with plugs should not be used as these could fail under the high stress of track conditions. Hubcaps or beauty rings should be removed. They can come off causing a dangerous situation.
STEERING & SUSPENSION
Check the wheel bearings by grabbing the tire & trying to move the wheel from side to side. There should not be any play or clunking sounds. The front wheels should move when you turn the steering wheel. There should not be any excess play.
The engine should not have any leaks that will allow liquids to fall onto the track. These fluids will cause slippery conditions on the track. This includes radiator fluid (antifreeze) which is very slippery. The battery should be secured with two (2) bolts. The battery terminals should be covered to prevent any arcs in case of accidental contact.
The brake system should be in good working order with no leaks in the system. The brake lines should not have any cracks. The brake fluid should be clear & at the maximum level. The pads should have plenty of life left in them, as the high speeds on the track will wear them out faster than the street. The brake lights should function properly.
Seatbelts must be in good condition. Factory seatbelts are OK. Cars without fixed roofs are required to have roll bars. Natural fibers are recommended for clothing. Minimum allowable clothing is jeans, a T-shirt & closed toe shoes. You will be required to wear a helmet when on the track. The minimum rating is SNELL 1990 (SA1990 or M1990). Newer helmets with a SA rating are recommended. Eye protection is required (face shield, goggles, safety glasses). The more and better the safety equipment you have & use, the safer you will be.
There should be no exposed wires. The car should have a good gas cap that seals. The seats should be bolted in tightly.
WHAT IS CAMBER, TOE, CASTER, AND OFFSET?
Maintaining proper alignment is fundamental to preserving both your car’s safety and its tread life. Wheel alignments ensure that all four wheels are consistent with each other and are optimized for maximum contact with the surface of the road. The way a wheel is oriented on your car is broken down to three major components; camber, caster, and toe.
The most widely discussed and controversial of the three elements is camber. Camber angle is the measure in degrees of the difference between the wheels vertical alignment perpendicular to the surface. If a wheel is perfectly perpendicular to the surface, its camber would be 0 degrees. Camber is described as negative when the top of the tires begin to tilt inward towards the fender wells. Consequently, when the top of the tires begin to tilt away from the vehicle it is considered positive.
Negative camber is becoming increasingly more popular because of its visual appeal. The real advantages to negative camber are seen in the handling characteristics. An aggressive driver will enjoy the benefits of increased grip during heavy cornering with negative camber. During straight acceleration however, negative camber will reduce the contact surface between the tires and road surface.
Regrettably, negative camber generates what is referred to as camber thrust. When both tires are angled negatively they push against each other, which is fine as long as both tires are in contact with the road surface. When one tire loses grip, the other tire no longer has an opposing force being applied to it and as a result the vehicle is thrust towards the wheel with no traction.
Zero camber will result in more even tire wear over time, but may rob performance during cornering. Ultimately, optimal camber will depend upon your driving style and conditions the vehicle is being driven in.
Caster is a bit harder to conceptualize, but it’s defined as the angle created by the steerings pivot point from the front to back of the vehicle. Caster is positive if the line is angled forward, and negative if backward.
Typically, positive caster will make the vehicle more stable at high speeds, and will increase tire lean when cornering. This can also increase steering effort as well.
Most road vehicles have what is called cross-caster. Cross castered vehicles have slightly different caster and camber, which cause it to drift slightly to the right while rolling. This is a safety feature so that un-manned vehicles or drivers who lose steering control will drift toward the side of the road instead of into oncoming traffic.
Perhaps the easiest concept to visualize is toe. Toe represents the angle derived from pointing the tires inward or outward from a top-down view – much like looking down at your toes and angling them inward or outward.
Correct toe is paramount to even tread wear and extended tire life. If the tires are pointed inward or outward, they will scrub against the surface of the road and cause wear along the edges. Sometimes however, tread life can be sacrificed for performance or stability
Positive toe occurs when the front of both tires begins to face each other. Positive toe permits both wheels to constantly generate force against one another, which reduces turning ability. However, positive tow creates straighter driving characteristics.
Typically, rear wheel drive vehicles have slightly positive tow in the rear due to rolling resistance – causing outward drag in the suspension arms. The slight positive toe straightens out the wheels at speed, effectively evening them out and preventing excessive tire wear.
Negative toe is often used in front wheel drive vehicles for the opposite reason. Their suspension arms pull slightly inward, so a slight negative toe will compensate for the drag and level out the wheels at speed.
Negative toe increases a cars cornering ability. When the vehicle begins to turn inward towards a corner, the inner wheel will be angled more aggressively. Since its turning radius is smaller than the outer wheel due to the angle, it will pull the car in that direction.
Negative toe decreases straight line stability as a result. Any slight change in direction will cause the car to hint towards one direction or the other.
Vehicles are designed with manufacturer’s settings for a reason. Countless hours of research and development go into designing suspension components and typically those numbers are the best to go with. Attempting to differ from the norm may result in dangerous conditions, especially for public road vehicles.
As a tuner, your needs and desires may differ from the norm. In this case, be sure to exercise caution when modifying your suspension and to consult professionals prior to any major modifications. Bear in mind the differing results caused by altering your camber, caster and toe, and to remember that performance often comes at the cost of economy.
Our services for brake repair include the following:
- ABS Brake Repair
- Brake Adjustment
- Brake Bleeding
- Brake Fluid Change
- Brake Inspection
- Brake Kits
- Brake Lines
- Brake Maintenance
- Brake Pads / Shoes
- Brake Replacement
- Brake Rotors / Drums
- Disc Brake Repair
- Front / Rear Brakes
- High Performance Brakes
- Parking – Emergency Brake
Auto-Spec provides a complete range of auto repair services for all types of brake systems at our shop. Each technician knows the importance of your understanding how the brake system in your vehicle plays a vital role in keeping you and your loved ones safe. The parts in the brake system aren’t designed to for the life of your vehicle. The brakes start wearing down over time as you drive. Each time you press your brake pedal the material making up the brake pad wears down against your vehicle’s brake rotor. When the brake pads are allowed to wear down longer than they should the metal surface underneath the pads will contact your brakes rotors. This will not only result in an unsafe driving situation but will require additional repairs and increase your total brake repair cost.
As the oil moves through the various engine components it lubricates and cleans the deposits caused by an internal combustion. These deposits cause the oil to turn dark. Oil has detergents and additives that break down over time that is why we change oil. Infrequent oil changes accelerate wear on the bearings, lifters and rings and other internal parts. A good analogy would be washing clothes. If your clothes are dirty and you don’t add enough detergent to the wash then your clothes don’t come out clean, and are likely to have residual stains if not laundered properly.
Your vehicle’s engine is the most expensive part of the whole car, so taking care of it is fundamental. And the most important part of preserving the engine is changing oil, which must be performed on schedule, using high-quality oil of the proper viscosity. That part is easy. The more complicated part is determining what constitutes “on schedule,” and selecting the right oil. Many manufacturers have recommended oil changes every 3000-5000 miles for many years. With recent model years, some new vehicle manufacturers are recommending oil change intervals only every 5,000, 7,500, or even every 10,000 miles, for their newest models.
Fortunately, motor oil manufacturers have responded to this trend by offering “High Endurance” motor oils. So, if you’re going to stick to the new longer schedules that your manufacturer might recommend for your new car, make sure your oil is up to the task by selecting a motor oil that fits the manufacturer’s recommendations as well as your personal driving habits. Skipping those simple, inexpensive oil changes can lead to very costly auto repairs as old oil produces a thick sludge that builds up on the inside of your engine, preventing all the moving parts from working properly, reducing fuel economy and shortening the lifespan of your engine, especially in the Texas heat.
We take care for your vehicle
We offer all services recommended for your vehicle.
- Regular Maintenance
- Tune-Ups, Air Filters, Fuel Filters
- Oil, Lube and Filter Service
- Factory Scheduled Maintenance (30K, 60K, 90K, 105K)
- Fuel Injection Cleaning & Service
- Preventive Maintenance & Fluid Flushes
- Heating & Air Conditioning Service
- Factory Scheduled Maintenance (A-service, B-service, 30K, 60K, 90K, etc.)
- Transmission Fluid Service
- Regular Maintenance based on your Driving Profile
The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it.
Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has six major components:
- The refrigerant carries heat. In modern cars, refrigerant is a substance called R-134a. Older cars’ refrigerant is called r-12 Freon, which is more expensive and difficult to find than R-134a.
- The compressor circulates and compresses refrigerant within the vehicle’s cooling system.
- Your vehicle’s condenser changes the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat from the car.
- The expansion valve (sometimes called the orifice tube) is a nozzle that simultaneously drops the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow and atomize it.
- Your vehicle’s evaporator transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car.
- The receiver or dryer filters your vehicle’s refrigerant and oil, removing moisture and other contaminants form them.
When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car, cooling the air within the vehicle. When this happens, the refrigerant is cooled, and it changes form a gas to a liquid, which then passes through the expansion valve and to the evaporator.
Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, it loses pressure and cools the remaining liquid. The vehicle’s blower moves air across the evaporator and into the vehicle’s interior. If you keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes through this cycle continuously.
If any of these components is damaged, it can turn your cool car into a furnace during the summer months. Your vehicle’s air conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to replacing a valve. If your air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring your vehicle to Auto-Spec. One of our trained air conditioning specialists will inspect your car’s air conditioner, all lines, the evaporator and the compressor for leaks and wear.
Auto-Spec offers the complete service and repair of charging systems in both foreign and domestic cars and trucks. We would like to help our customers have a better understanding of the car battery, starting and charging systems play crucial parts in making certain the operation of your auto is dependable while driving in central Texas. The car battery’s purpose is to store electricity that is then converted into the mechanic force necessary to start the engine by the starter. The alternator in your auto produces the electrical current – originating from the car battery – that is required for the auto’s electrical needs when running the engine. The ignition module in the auto turns the low voltage supply to the ignition coil off and on, which then is converted to the higher voltage required for the operation of the auto’s ignition system. The electricity is used to engage the spark plugs that ignite the combined fuel/air mixture in the auto’s engine’s cylinders. This ignition is finally used to power the pistons to initiate the rest of the process of powering your auto.
There are various considerations that contribute to the wear and tear of a car battery, starting, and charging systems. For example the frequent turning on and off of your car while driving will cause more wear and tear than your daily commute. Other factors affecting the wear and tear of the car battery, starting, and charging systems include the driving and weather conditions in Texas, overall mileage, an auto’s age, and various automotive parts like in-vehicle entertainment systems causing an excessive draw on the electrical system.
The signs you may realize that indicate possible problems with your car battery, charging, and starting system include dimming headlights and interior lights, the “check engine” and/or battery lights, or failure of other car or truck accessories.
The ASE certified technicians at Auto-Spec are professionally trained in the complete service and repair of automotive batteries, charging, and starting systems. If you think you are having issues with any of the charging and starting components system give us a call.
Our services for battery charging starting include the following:
- Alternator Belt
- Alternator Repair
- Alternator Replacement
- Alternator Tensioner
- Alternator Testing
- Alternator Troubleshooting
- Battery Charge
- Battery Load Test
- Battery Maintenance
- Battery Replacement
- Battery Testing
- Battery Troubleshooting
- Ignition Switch
- Starter Relay
- Starter Repair
- Starter Replacement
Rebuilt engines, frequently called overhauled engines, have been dismantled, inspected, cleaned, and their parts replaced or repaired to update them to current manufacturing specifications. Rebuilding an engine, while labor intensive, costs less than replacing an entire vehicle or a new engine. Due to the unique rebuilding process, some parts might be as old as the original, slightly used, or brand new, but many manufacturers will offer a warranty anyway. Choosing a rebuilt engine can extend the life of a car and might be a cost-effective option for drivers who know that they have serious engine trouble.
Technically, engines that are rebuilt are different from those that have been overhauled. With rebuilt, or re-manufactured, engines, a mechanic will either save or fix parts based on the amount of wear or damage. The original manufacturer of the engine, whether from an automobile, is the only one authorized to re-manufacture it. Much specialized machining is done to ensure that every part works well. Overhauled engines, however, contain only a few replaced parts, at full cost, and rarely involve machining old parts. This can be less effective in extending the life of the vehicle.
Some of the machining done in the rebuilding process includes reforming the piston-cylinder system. The cylinder channels are re-bored and the pistons are fitted to match the larger cylinders. All bearings are smoothed and lubricated. The crankshaft or camshaft might be reground, heads resurfaced, and connecting rods machined and precisely gauged. Other less expensive parts, such as the timing belt, gaskets, and belts, could be replaced.
Since rebuilt engines have different parts with different operating histories, they are not guaranteed to last as long as a new engine. A part that was fine when the engine was evaluated during the remanufacturing process may malfunction after the engine has been re-installed. The engine has been thoroughly inspected, however. When a mechanic rebuilds an engine, he or she may be able to find other, previously undiagnosed issues that can be fixed before they cause problems.
Another advantage is that the engine will meet the requirements for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications. These might have changed since the engine was first produced, and their improvements might make it run smoother and more efficiently
We do not stock tires at our locations. We recommend that you go to tirerack.com and order the tires you want. If you need assistance from the service consultants they will be more than happy to advise you on what tires will fit your needs best. We are a preferred installer for Tire Rack. They will ship your tires directly to our shop and they will be here waiting for you when you’re ready for them to be installed.
Wheel and Tire Balance
Our goals are providing quality tire service to improve your vehicle’s handling, increase tire life, and make sure that your drive is as safe as possible. Let our professional technician help you find, balance, and mount the right tires for your car. Please feel free to give us a call or email and let us help you with your tire services.
We offer the following tire services:
- Wheel Alignment
- Tire Mounting
- Tire Balancing
- Tire Rotation
- Tire Inspection
24/7 Towing Service
If you need a tow from the Round Rock area we recommend you call Finger towing at 512-832-0877.
The transmission may well be one of the most complicated and important components of your car or truck. That’s why it’s important to trust its maintenance and repair to a full–service shop. There are a number of problems that can be resolved simply while others may require a complete transmission overhaul. Our skilled mechanics have the training and expertise to properly diagnose your transmission problem and get you back on the road.